Survey Results: Short-Term Rentals “Are a Significant Threat to the Quality of Life in Coronado”

A total of 134 responses to the survey on short-term rentals were received. Eighty-four or 63 percent of the respondents either “strongly agree” (47 percent) or “agree” (16 percent) that short-term rentals are a significant threat to the quality of life in Coronado. A majority (55 percent) also believe that the City should not change the current ordinance that limits rentals to not less than 26 consecutive days; however, 33 percent feel that consideration should be given to reducing the allowable duration.

As reported in two of the previous articles on short-term rentals, SoCal Beach Communities Seek Solutions to Short-Term Rentals and Cities Grapple with the Challenges of Regulating Short-Term Rentals, several cities are allowing short-term rentals in exchange for the opportunity to collect Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) on the rental income. Fifty-five percent of the responses to the survey do not believe that the ability to collect TOT is a sufficient incentive to shorten the duration of allowable rentals. A small number, seven percent, “strongly agree” that the collection of TOT is a sufficient reason to allow properties to be rented for a shorter period than 26 days.

Sixty-five percent of the respondents to the survey agree that the City should increase the penalties for violating its ban on short-term rentals to the maximum extent allowable: “strongly agree” (51 percent) or “agree (14 percent). Eight percent of the respondents are “neutral” on the subject of penalties. Twenty-one percent disagree with an increase in penalties: 17 percent “strongly disagree” and 10 percent “disagree.”

Almost a third of the responses to the survey were accompanied by comments. Following is a sampling of the comments that capture the essence of the objections to short-term rentals.

“There are enough hotel rooms to accommodate short term visitors. The city can’t absorb more considering the traffic, parking, bikes, [and] pedestrians.”

“Short term rentals happen on our street every summer. These short-term vacationers are a problem for those of us here year-round. They are noisy, drinking, playing music too loud, etc. They are up making noise late and some of us have to work early. They take up more parking on the street since there are sometimes two or three families in a single unit. They can be inconsiderate when asked to quiet down.”

“Short term rentals will make Coronado into just one big hotel. The rent is already very expensive for military families because owners can get so much money doing shot rentals. Owners like me are forced to live next to buildings that have basically turned into Motels, with drunk, rude, and loud guests, parties every night, and an excessive amount of cars.”

“I am glad the city is finally addressing the problem. I have an AirBNB next door that advertises a minimum of 26 days, but I [have] seen a number of different cars coming and going for shorter periods of time. Across the alley I have a VRBO that now is using a converted garage. Neither of these rentals have ANY of[f] street parking.”

Comments at the other end of the spectrum included the following:

“I am a Coronado Homeowner, and a Coronado resident for over 20 years. I am a CHS Alumni, volunteer in our Coronado community, and I am very connected with our resident family here in Coronado. Many of my neighbors have short term rentals during [the] summer—directly next to me. Most of the time, my neighbors screen the renters very well and write very good lease agreements for their short-term rental[s]. There have been some issues with loud music, etc. All of my rentals have been long-term; I have not used my property for a short-term rental. HOWEVER, I have no issues with short-term rentals. I feel that there should be NO RESTRICTIONS. If it’s your property, a person should have their right [to] do what they wish with their own property!!!”

“[A] shorter rental period will b[ring] more tourist dollars to our town.”

On the issue of collecting TOT on short-term rentals, the following comments were offered.

“Vacation rentals would be happy to pay the tot tax. These renter’s bring a lot of dollars to the local economy.”

“For me it doesn’t have anything to do with the transient occupancy tax it has to do with quality-of-life issues in a town that already has too much tourism”

Other comments expressed a more “middle-of-the road” position.

“I think that there could be some benefits in permitting people to go through a licensing process to do short term rentals and pay fees and taxes. The requirements & rules for the license could be enough to protect any threat to the community opening up this opportunity to owners. The rules would need to be enforced. This option was not really provided in the survey. As the Airbnb market is becoming huge, having a homeowner on the property with those that may be renting (such as with a back house or in a room in a house) pose less of an issue than renting out a home without any oversight by the owner.”

“I feel that the rules that are currently in place seem to do a sufficient job of keeping our neighborhoods residential without significantly infringing on a property owners rights to use their very expensive property as best suits them.”

“Government should find a better way to enforce the noise and curfew laws, rather than have and try to enforce short-term rental laws. Punish the homeowners who rent to poor tenants/renters rather than all landlords, many of whom do a good job screening their renters.

“Two weeks [is] probably ok. But either way, needs to be enforced.”

The issue of enforcement elicited the following comments:

“We live next to a rental that is rented all year around at 1 week at a time. The manager is rude and threatening because we complained to the city. The City says it is building a case against them…I feel they should be fined for the 4 years they have been breaking the law. We don’t want to live next to a hotel.”

“Coronado should either allow short-term rentals, or actively enforce the ordinance. Taking a middle of the road approach penalizes law abiding owners/renters and benefits rule breakers.”

“Having a 26 day minimum rental period does not combat the issues for neighbors. If you have a bad renter you now have them for 26 days. The solution lays in educating and making each owner get a permit which requires them to use a standard CAR vacation rental form with the ability to evict any tenant that violates the rules and disrupts neighborhoods.”

“The problem with short term rentals is related to the number of persons allowed in the rentals. Some homes permit large groups of 10 or more or the renters invite more guests than should be allowed. Some homeowners rent their homes to an individual company that rotates employee families throughout the term of the rental. Also, real estate agents that manager rentals in town violate the ordinance regularly and need not list their properties on VRBO or other websites. It is a mess especially for those of us who try very hard to rent to good families and vacationers and limit the impact on neighborhood by adhering to the city ordinance. “

Other comments, like the following, expressed the view that the city has bigger problems than short-term rentals.

“Traffic in Coronado is much more pressing issue than short-term rentals.”

“Coronado has bigger problems to address. I own my home, don’t dare tell me what I can and can’t do with my personal property.”

If you took the survey and made a comment that was not included in this article you are encouraged to add your comment below. If you did not take the survey but have an opinion on the subject of short-term rentals please add it in response to this article.

John Tato

Staff Writer

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John was born and raised in Coronado. He graduated from Coronado High School in 1965. He received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in architecture and a Master of Architecture degree from Stanford University. In 2005 he retired from the U.S. Department of State but continues to serve as a consultant to the department.He is a member of the Coronado Transportation Commission. John also volunteers with the San Diego Human Society and County Animal Shelters. He and his wife, Barbara, who is retired from the Central Intelligence Agency, have two sons: Army Captain John W. Tato who is serving with the First Special Forces Group (Airborne) and Navy Ensign Michael R. Tato who is in flight training with VP-30 at NAS Jacksonville.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@ecoronado.com